I wanted to follow up on Kylle Robertson's play for the Kamiakin Braves on Saturday. Without him -- or someone of his ilk -- they probably aren't playing this weekend.
Yes, Zach Umemoto ran for 156 yards and two scores, Drew Oord scored another TD on the ground and the Braves racked up 248 of their 311 total yards on the ground. Also, Robertson's passing numbers weren't flashy -- 6-for-10 for 65 yards and a touch.
But the kid got it done when he needed to. And with a few key passes, Kamiakin's running game may have grounded to a halt.
It was a rough start, for sure. Filling in for injured Jason Hutchison, Robertson was high on many of his throws, especially early. He took a 15-yard loss on a sack on a slow-developing play-action pass that killed the Braves' first scoring threat.
With the first half coming to a close, he was 2-of-5 for 4 yards.
But that's when he made his first big throw, a fourth-and-10 conversion to Brandon Larson, who held on despite a vicious hit to give Kamiakin a first-and-goal a the 11. Oord scored on the next play, giving the Braves faithful something to cheer about heading into the locker room after their team fell behind 14-0.
In the second half, it seemed that Robertson could do no wrong, starting with a 15-yard scramble on the first snap of the third quarter to get Kamiakin some field position out to the 30. Later on the drive he connected with Jesse Houser for a third-down conversion of 8 yards, then found James Swinyard on a fourth-and-4 that set up Umemoto's 16-yard TD.
Robertson finished 3-for-4 for 38 yards after the break, and each of those completions going for a first down or a touchdown. Also, he ran for 38 yards on nine carries (take away the sack, and his actuall rushing total is 53 yards).
At 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, he brings power and mobility to the position.
His performance drew rave reviews from teammates and coach Scott Biglin.
"I expected him to do all those things," Oord said. "But what I didn't expect was his leadership in the huddle."
"Very proud of Kylle," Biglin said, noting that Robertson was in competition with Hutchison for the starting job last spring. "It was no big deal for him. You talk to the kid, and you wouldn't think it was a first-round (playoff) game."
Earlier in the week, Biglin relayed a sequence from the previous week's win against Hanford, when Hutchison's middle finger on his throwing hand was a bloody mess after getting it hit by a defender on an option pitch.
"I was freaking out, seeing that finger," Biglin said. "I don't do that kind of stuff. (Robertson) said, 'Coach, its third down, lets run this play and hit this guy,' and he did it."
Hutchison's return for this week is probable. He was suited up Saturday for emergency duty, and was bugging his coaches to let him on the field. And with the senior's 21 touchdown passes against just two picks, there is no QB controversy brewing here.
But Biglin and the rest of the Braves are smiling, thinking about the next two years with Robertson at the helm.
Maybe the extra "l" in Kylle stands for loose, because that's how he played in a pressure situation.